How To Look At A House
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What is the average life expectancy of a ductless (mini-split) heat pump or air conditioner?
Saturday, June 1, 2019
How long does a ductless (mini-split) heat pump or air conditioner last?
The average lifespan of a ductless (mini-split) heat pump or air conditioner is 10 to 16 years, with an average of 14 years. They are easier to retrofit in an existing home than a regular split system with ducts, especially if there is no attic available.
According to the Social Security Administration, the typical 65-year old American can expect to live to the age of 83. Some will depart this world sooner, and about 10% will live to 95. Old air conditioners are much like that. It’s easy to find out the average lifespan, but pinpointing the month when the service van will pull up to take away your old unit and cart in a new one is just not possible.
Regular maintenance is a good way to beat the odds and make your system last longer, and most HVAC contractors offer a service plan with annual or twice a year visits.
Many people refer to both an air conditioner ("straight cool” or “cooling”) and a heat pump as simply an “air conditioner,” but an air conditioner requires an electric resistance heat coil or combination with a gas or oil furnace for heating, whereas a heat pump can reverse the flow of refrigerant to heat the home. Most heat pumps have electric resistance heat anyway as a backup for very cold days.
Here’s our comparison chart with the average life expectancies of different types of air conditioners, along with other appliances that provide heating and ventialation for a home.
Also see our article How can I make my Florida air conditioner last longer? Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post ”How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”
To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMade, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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